ABA Tech Report - Social Media
Eighty percent of law firms have a social media presence – with LinkedIn and Facebook being the favored platforms – but fewer than half of them have a formal social media policy.
The rest are winging it, with no coherent plan for how much they spend on social media, how often they post, and what steps they take to ensure confidential information won’t be disclosed.
When it comes to blogs, one in three firms has one, but the vast majority are inactive or rarely updated.
Those are two findings from the ABA 2020 Profile of the Profession.
“Law firms and lawyers maintain a significant presence on social media,” according to the report. “[But] less than half of all lawyers (40 percent) say their firms have a social media policy. That increases to 86 percent for large firms of 500 lawyers or more.”
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15 Nuggets from the ABA 2020 Profile of the Profession
- Four out of five firms (80 percent) are on at least one social network.
- The most popular platform for lawyers is LinkedIn (73 percent), followed by Facebook (31 percent), Twitter (28 percent), Avvo (15 percent) and Martindale (12 percent).
- Around one-third of lawyers (31 percent) said a client retained their legal services from social media.
- Other marketing tools: email (40 percent), print (30 percent), direct mail (19 percent), Avvo (14 percent), Lawyers. com (13 percent), FindLaw (13 percent) and Yellow Pages (12 percent).
- Only 30 percent of firms have a blog. Of those, 3 percent post daily, 18 percent weekly, 56 percent monthly and 21 percent said they’ve stopped updating.
- Half of all bloggers (49 percent) said a client retained their services because of their blog.
- Sixty (60) percent say they blog because they enjoy writing and outreach, 51 percent do it for client development, and 51 percent for career development and networking.
- The bigger the firm, the more likely it has a blog, as 74 percent of big firms with 500 lawyers or more have a blog. Only nine percent of solos have one.
- Law firms reported an increase in security breaches in 2019. Twenty-six (26) percent said their firms had a security breach (for example, lost or stolen computer or smartphone, hack, break-in or exploited website), up from 23 percent in 2018 and 22 percent in 2017.
- Around two-thirds of firms that reported a security breach suffered no significant business disruption or loss. Even so, 35 percent said the breach caused some down time or a loss of billable hours.
- The threat posed by viruses, spyware and malware declined slightly. Thirty-six (36) percent of lawyers said their law firm technology had been infected at some point in the past, down from 40 percent in 2018 and 43 percent in 2017.
- The larger the firm, the more likely it has been breached. Close to one-third of firms with 500 or more lawyers has had a breach, compared to only 14 percent of solo practitioners
- Most law firms use spam filters (86 percent), a firewall (80 percent), anti-spyware (76 percent) and popup blockers (74 percent).
- Fewer than half of all law firms (44 percent) encrypt their files.
- Around one-third of firms (33 percent) have cyber liability insurance. That number had been steadily rising – from 11 percent in 2015 to 34 percent in 2018. It appears to have leveled off now.
Jay Reeves is author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World. He practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. Now he writes and speaks at CLEs, keynotes and in-firm presentations on lawyer professionalism and well-being. He runs Your Law Life LLC, which helps lawyers add purpose, profits and peace of mind to their practices. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-619-2441.